ASEAN is poised to build 600-MW joint electricity network, called the ASEAN Power Grid, which connects Malaysia and Sumatra, in an effort to support regional integration.

The projects aim to manage energy trade in ASEAN.

The project expected to start this year and will be part of Melaka-Pekanbaru Interconnection project within sub-regional partnership program, the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).

In this ASEAN Power Grid project, 52-km under water wires will be installed from Telok Gong, Malaysia to Ruppat Island, Indonesia through Malacca straits, as well as 5-km under water wires, from Supat straits heading to Dumai, Riau.

State-run electricity firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) constructed 275kV overhead transmission with 200 km of length from Dumai to Garuda Sakti Sumatera. In the meantime, Asian Development Bank invested on high-voltage 275 kW interconnection project, connecting West Borneo and Sarawak.

It would take US$60 billion to establish ASEAN connectivity system, covering 15 infrastructure giant projects.

The other connectivity projects include the construction of road and bridges that connects China, passing through all ASEAN countries and heading to Surabaya. The connectivity amongst ASEAN member countries will ensure an intact ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan.

This ASEAN connectivity is realized through the development of infrastructure, communication and citizens’ linkage as it will make the integrated ASEAN as an influential region in the world.

Three projects that will be realized in 2012 include the construction of road, railway and ferries. The road will connect all ASEAN member countries while the toll road will cross China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The other projects are ferry routes connecting Philippines, Riau Island and Eastern Indonesia as well as energy project that connect Borneo (Indonesia) – Sarawak (Malaysia) and Sumatra (Indonesia) – Malaysia peninsula.

(this article published in 1BINA.my)